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You're getting older but are you getting better?

As I was pulling away from an early breakfast appointment this morning at the local Panera, I came to the stoplight and pulled behind a model of car I hadn’t seen in a long time. It was a mid 1980’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo and it made me chuckle. I remembered one of my friends buying one of these back in 1984 and how cool we thought he was. We envied him as he drove his black Monte Carlo SS with its red pin striping down the road.

Now, years later, the car in front of me seemed big, boxy, and backward. Not only was it out of style but it also had clearly seen better days. Its fenders were rusting, it was missing three of its hubcaps and it sagged to one side as it waited for the light to change. And then I saw its license plate – below the usual mishmash of letters and numbers it proudly listed itself as a “historic” vehicle!

I have to be frank with you, that hurt! What I had admired a few years earlier now qualified as something “historic” and let me tell you, “historic” didn’t look so good. But it got me thinking. Just because something is older doesn’t mean that it’s better.

And it’s not just cars – it can also be true of you and me spiritually.

Just because we’ve been around longer doesn’t guarantee that our spiritual lives are really better. We can start off in our relationship with God full of enthusiasm and passion and as the months and years roll by we can find ourselves sagging, rusty and missing a few parts.  Just because we are older doesn’t mean we are better.

But it doesn’t have to be that way and it’s not true of everyone I meet. Fortunately, there are a growing number of friends and fellow journeyers who are both getting older and growing better at the same time. Obviously, there are a bunch of factors that contribute to spiritual growth but I have noticed that there are several lies we can buy into that cause a lot of people to get stuck.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to challenge some of those lies and I hope you’ll take the time to think with me and wrestle with some of their implications. The unfortunate truth is that we can’t keep from growing old – sooner or later the cars we think are cool today will end up in the junkyard or as something historic. And it won’t be long, before those things that are now historic will quickly become “antique”. So while we can’t keep from growing old we can make some decisions that will help us grow better and that’s what I want us to do. So, watch your email next week as I explore the first of several spiritual misunderstandings that could be stunting your spiritual growth.

In the meantime, I’m excited about what God has been doing on Sunday mornings in our current series called, “You Don’t Have What It Takes!” I’ve heard from many of you that it’s been helpful and (although challenging) it's been life changing and inspiring. I hope you’ll join me at JC this Sunday as we wrap up the series with the topic, “You Can’t Handle It All”. We’ll learn some important truths about how to manage the frenetic pace of life that is driving most of us crazy. And bring your friends, family and neighbors with you because they need to get better as they get older too!

Posted by Mark Wilkinson at 11:00 PM